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Life Lessons



This booklet was inspired by the amazing life stories of our alumni and honorary doctorate recipients whose contribution to society is tremendous. We asked some of our top-achieving alumni to share a significant lesson in leadership that has been central to their career and life’s journey. The resulting  quotes not only make for interesting reading but will hopefully also inspire us to think about what drives us to achieve and whether we are making a difference in society. The lessons have been linked to our institutional values to reflect how these values can be lived.


The booklet is an introduction to thousands of other amazing alumni stories. We encourage alumni to share their life and leadership lessons by filling in the form below.

We are proud of our alumni and their impact globally and locally – and we are positive that the university’s impact on society will continue to increase. My own contribution is, “Never underestimate the power of passion and commitment to want to make a difference”. And I am proud to say these traits are exemplified by our Alumni Association Executive Committee.


Paul GG Geswindt
Director: Alumni Relations


Sharing your life lessons!


"1) Life is a journey, so cherish all its moments. 2) We are what we give the industry, without people we are as good as dead. 3) Children are the best gifts you can ever get, so provide them with a good education you can afford."

Molefi  Nketekete ( BSc CS, BSc Hons CM, 2012)


“Learn to listen Be humble Have an open mind Meet all sorts of people Associate yourself with people who you aspire to be or who fully support you Do no be scared believe in your self Be selfish(PUT YOURSELF FIRST) Get a hobby You are going to lose friends its ok gives you time to yourself DON'T compare your progress it will discourage you Be independent support yourself Be yourself either people like you or they don't if they don't they see you as a threat :-) and Fight for your happiness”

Roonie Mutsinze  (BTech Tourism Management, 2011)


"Education is a life long journey one that will always be remembered. I have grown to love working with the youth of our country and abraod. We all have a gift within us to share with the world. We need to unlock that gift and uplift those who are around us. Hardwork, dedication and success goes hand in hand. Always do your best!"


Sancia Johnson (BEd Hons, 2014)


"Every day is an opportunity given by the moments that come your way. It’s not what comes your way, but rather how you choose to respond to them, that gives these opportunities a creative or destructive power. So choose well and you will surely soar!"

Ross Johnston (BCom, 1998)


"Life is too short live it to the fullest."

Pamella Madaka (ND Tourism Management, 2011)


"Irrespective of your personal or professional circumstances, always respect those around you, whether they are family, friends, colleagues or strangers. By showing respect you will gain support in everything you do."

Arno Taljaard (MBA, 2009)


"Elkeen moet self reik en streef en WERK vir dit wat jy wil bereik. Behandel ander soos wat ekself behandel wil word."

A Marais (BTech Cost & Management Accounting, 2000)


"Passion is the fuel of success. Work without passion is like a car with no wheels - its going nowhere. There are two Rules I live by - 1) Do what you love and 2) Be excellent at it. if you can get this right, all else will follow."

William Akoto (MCom Economics cum laude, 2009)


“I have learnt not to compromise my values & principles just to be with the in crowd or impress people at work or in general. Staying true to myself and my beliefs makes life less complicated and brings me joy. Another important lesson, is that I can love everyone, but not necessarily like everyone or like what they do. I strive to love as Jesus does. A Life quote I try to live by is: "By being myself I put something wonderful and beautiful in the world that was not there before!"

Clarissa Murison (BTech HR Management, 2008)

"Find a relevant niche for yourself and become an expert in it. Don't be satisfied with the way things are - aim to make it better! These two things will make you indispensable and will make achieving your goals a lot easier."

Michelle Hardy-Berrington (MA Applied Media, 2010)

Mandela’s servant leadership style was inclusive & communal. He placed his followers’ needs above his own, which is testimony to his humility and style of leading by example. The core of ‘ubuntu’ was in his empathy for others and inspired those around him with his charisma, passion and commitment to SA. Mandela taught me the merit of forgiving & moving forward for the common good. As a proud Mandela Rhodes Scholar I hope to model his leadership. He had great dream and left an undeniable legacy.

Jessica Baker (Bachelor of Social Work (Cum Laude),2012)

"Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, look for ways in making life easier for the person who you are reporting too. Approach work ethically and with integrity. Work like you are working for Jesus."

Carl van Loggerenberg (BTech Forestry, 1990)

"Starting a business does not require millions but the little you have can be managed to accumulate to those heights. Small customers should be given the same respect as big customers because big customers can put you out of business if not well managed."

Alex Kizito (BCom Industrial Psychology, 2011)


"If your efforts fail to reach the last grain of sand on the seashore, know that the current and tide created thereby, will."

Athol Muller (BTech Logisitics, 2004)


"There is nothing for nothing. Hard work pays with luck. Listen and never stop learning."

Vuyo Tshangana (B. Proc, 2000)


“Always be aware of your strengths in the workplace and never compromise your integrity.”

Nontutuzelo Plaatjie (NDip Logistics, 2012)


“Always keep your personal life and academic/prospective career at two different ends. This ensures that the one does not have a negative impact on the other. Prepare adequately and thoroughly, don't hold back on additional research, adopt the need to be more competent and informed in your area of study, persevere, challenge yourself and exceed all limits. It is only as hard as we make it out to be. Stay positive! Your choices are the path to your destiny, make it a fulfilling journey.”

Nabeela Abrahams (BTech HRM (Cum Laude), NDip HRM (Cum Laude)


“That value added learning is so much more important, than only being street smart. The values echoed by our University sets about a High Presidency and live long learning principle both for the individual as well as for future job settings. Experiential learning is key in setting up foundation for oneself and ongoing formation.”

Jolindon Petersen (BA Honours Group Dynamics, 2013)

Walk the talk! Do not take up office if you cannot deliver! Do not volunteer if you are not going to show up! In essesnce, lead by example and be predictable. Ask yourself what difference you make in people's lives? Does not matter how small the difference might be! But at least you start small as opposed to doing nothing. As Baltasar Gracian puts it "What matters is not being applauded when you arrive - for that is common - but being missed when you leave."

Desiree dos Santos (MPhil Conflict & Transformation Management, 2015)





















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